February 20, 2020

Introduction to Contemporary Arts and Politics

HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design at University of Gothenburg

Workshop with Prem Krishnamurthy and Emily Smith at K, space, Introduction to Contemporary Arts and Politics, 2018. Photo: Kjell Caminha.

Contemporary Arts and Politics summer course, 15 hec.

A distance course introducing key political themes and questions in contemporary art practices, theories and institutions. This international course, delivered in English, is based on a combination of distance education and participation in one intensive workshop (from a choice of three) in these three cities: Bucharest (June 23–26), Dublin (August 12–14) or Gothenburg (August 19–21). The course is free to EU nationals. Students are responsible for their own costs of attending the workshops.

This year the course is delivered in partnership with: the Irish Musuem of Modern Art, Dublin; the Bucharest Biennale 9 Farewell to Research (curated by Henk Slager) and the Curatorial Studies Workshop, “handfuls thrown into air and scattered over earth”. The teaching team includes: Mick Wilson, Sarah Tuck, Daniel Jewesbury and special guests join at the workshop intensives.

Application period is February 20 to March 16. Application is via (for International applicants) and via (for Swedish applicants). Admission is based on letter of intention (preferably in English) stating why you wish to attend the course, 200 to 350 words in length.

Why art and politics?
There is a long tradition of interaction between questions of politics and questions of art. However, arguably in the current decade this dialogue between art and politics has intensified, leading to a fundamental interrogation: What is at stake now in the different intersections of art and the political? How are the terms "politics" and "the political" articulated within contemporary art? What, if any, is the specific political agency of artistic practice?

These questions have acquired ever greater urgency in the wider political context of ascendant national populisms and racisms; mass displacement and anti-migrant mobilisations; the failure of governance structures to respond effectively to climate change and ecological collapse; and changing formations of political mobilisation from the Arab "spring" to renewed indigenous resistance movements; from Extinction Rebellion to Black Lives Matter; from Rhodes-Must-Fall to #MeToo.

Through taking this course you will have an opportunity to build your own map of the multiple intersections of contemporary art and the political. We will also explore together how this may now be changing under the impact of recent changes in the wider political field.

Times specified are Swedish (CET). You will require reliable internet access and headphones. Some of the content from each workshop will be posted online for other course participants to access. Participation in the workshops means that your contributions to discussion may be recorded for this purpose.

There are 16 online lectures and seminars. The online presentation and seminar sessions are scheduled at 4pm (Swedish time, CET) on the following days: June 9, 10, 15, 16, 17; July 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9; August 5, 6, 11, 20, 21.

Most of the online sessions can be accessed via published recordings, at whatever time suits your personal timetable needs. It is strongly recommended that you attend the online discussion sessions "live".

The intensive workshop, involving physical attendance, is chosen from one of the following three options. It is possible to attend two or more if you wish, however, you are expected to attend one at a minimum. Presentations made as part of the workshop will also be posted online for distance access. In most cases material from intensive workshops may be streamed live, but this may not always be possible.

Bucharest: Tuesday–Friday, June 23–26
Dublin: Wednesday–Friday, August 12–14
Gothenburg: Wednesday–Friday, August 19–21

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